DRAFT map of the Main Street Marketplace concept. (Image courtesy TOML)
Planning Commission wraps up winter, looks toward summer
Winter transitioned to summer during Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting, the weather outside notwithstanding, as the body reviewed snow berms and summer marketplace concepts.
Jarvis works on berms
Last month, Planning Commission Chair Tony Barrett asked that issue of extremely high snow berms in Old Mammoth be put on a future agenda to be discussed as a potential town hazard. At Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting, Public Works Director Ray Jarvis addressed the topic, pointing out that it is actually an issue all over town.
“There has been so much snow this year we are struggling with where to put it,” Jarvis said. While the amount of snow varies from year to year, Jarvis had several ideas of how to remedy the situation in the future, admitting that in years such as this one it is a problem.
“We can put up warning signs in the streets that say ‘Look out for driveway traffic,’” he suggested. “Or we can have the snowplow drivers create angles or tapers on the snow banks.” The angles would allow better visuals around the massive berms.
The Commission agreed that the right signage in the right places could be helpful. With the winter season wrapping up this year, the Commission directed Jarvis to look at the problem further and come back before them at the end of the summer with ways to move forward.
Main Street Marketplace 2011
In an effort to test ideas outlined in the Downtown Neighborhood District Plan, Mayor Skip Harvey (who owns and operates Base Camp Café) in conjunction with Town staff, has created a plan for the Main Street Marketplace. The concept includes a summer-long plan that would accommodate pedestrian, bike and vehicular circulation along the South Frontage Road.
The goals of the project include creating a new look for Main Street, making the segment of the Main Street Marketplace (centered around the Schat’s, P3, and Base Camp parking area) more pedestrian friendly, and creating a space for small events such as the summer Farmer’s Market.
On Wednesday Harvey went before the Planning Commission to introduce the concept and receive the Commissioners’ feedback. Harvey explained the proposed one-way automobile traffic that would allow easier pedestrian and bicycle traffic flow. He would also hope to install inviting benches and decorate with seasonal colors to attract visitors to the events held at the marketplace.
Commissioner Elizabeth Tenney pointed out that Harvey should really brand the area with signage and make it a destination for visitors. Another business owner in the area, Tom Cage, pointed out that the bike lane on Main Street should not be lost during the process and that the parking on Center Street that is being looked at as parking for guests visiting the Main Street Marketplace is currently being used by employees of the businesses in the area. He asked that the parking be vetted further before a final decision was made.
In general, all of the business owners in the area will need to be contacted because Harvey hopes they will all pitch in for the startup expenses of the project, which he believes will not exceed $12,000.
“This year will be the most expensive because we need to purchase items such as the benches, but next year costs should be less because we would just need to pay for set up and tear down,” Harvey said. He added, however, if even one of the businesses in the area is not on board and does not think the project will enhance their storefront, than the whole project will have to be scrapped.
The Commission liked the idea and encouraged Harvey and staff. “I applaud you for thinking outside of the Mammoth box, which is pretty closed and has very thick walls,” Commissioner Rhonda Duggan said.
Harvey hopes to have the Main Street Marketplace up and running by mid-June.